Did you know about Viagra Benefits and side effects? – Health care

Did you know about Viagra Benefits and side effects? – Health care

Generic Viagra: Options, Side Effects, and Where to Get It

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Viagra, the brand name of the drug sildenafil, is now sold as a generic drug by many manufacturers around the world. Sildenafil is essentially the same medication like Viagra, which was the first major erectile dysfunction (ED) medication on the market and is made by Pfizer.

Generic Viagra hasn’t been around very long. Though Pfizer’s patent on the popular ED medication ran out in 2020, Pfizer started making and selling generic sildenafil in 2017. Once other companies could legally sell their sildenafil tablets in 2020, the options for consumers quickly expanded.

What is generic Viagra?

Sildenafil, often still referred to as “generic Viagra,” is the active ingredient in Viagra. Viagra also contains small amounts of inactive ingredients that mainly serve to give the pills form and make it easier for the body to metabolize them.

The full name of the medication is sildenafil citrate. It helps treat ED by increasing blood flow to the penis to help get and sustain an erection.

Who makes generic Viagra?

The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer discovered the erectile dysfunction benefits of sildenafil by accident.

Researchers were testing the medication to treat high blood pressure and angina — chest pain associated with heart disease. They found that the medication was especially effective at inducing erections. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Viagra in 1998, making it the first oral drug specifically prescribed for erectile dysfunction.

Pfizer was also the first to introduce generic Viagra through a subsidiary called Greenstone. Other companies around the world also manufacture sildenafil pills, including:

  • Teva Pharmaceuticals
  • Aurobindo
  • Cambia
  • Mylan
  • Bristol Labs

What is sildenafil used for?

Sildenafil is best known as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, the inability to get or keep an erection.

It is meant to be taken before having sex, with the understanding that its effects last only a few hours.

It is also approved for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH) — elevated blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs and the right side of the heart. Revatio is the brand name of sildenafil prescribed for PH.

Generic sildenafil is always sold as sildenafil. There are currently no other brand names for the drug, aside from Viagra and Revatio.

In the United States, sildenafil for ED or PH requires a prescription. The United Kingdom allows for over-the-counter sales of the drug, in part to discourage the market for fake sildenafil. Sildenafil is one of the most commonly counterfeited drugs in the world.

What’s the difference between generic sildenafil and brand name Viagra?

Instead of “the little blue pill,” as Viagra is known, sildenafil is often sold as a little white pill by Pfizer’s competitors. The appearance of the pill doesn’t change its effectiveness or how it works in the body.

While generic sildenafil and Viagra are equally safe and effective, the medications have one key difference: cost. Viagra costs around $60 to $70 per tablet. Generic sildenafil can range from under $1 to up to $10 per pill, depending on the manufacturer and dose.

How do PDE5 inhibitors work?

Sildenafil doesn’t cure ED. It treats ED symptoms. Likewise, sildenafil doesn’t cure PH. It just helps control blood pressure in the arteries in the lungs.

Sildenafil is in a class of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. These drugs restrict the action of phosphodiesterase enzymes, which break down cyclic guanosine monophosphate. This is a type of molecule that relaxes smooth muscle tissue in the body, such as those in the blood vessels that allow the penis to become erect. Taking sildenafil improves circulation by helping the arteries relax enough to fill more easily with blood.

Sildenafil is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, reaching a maximum concentration in about 1 hour for most users. Generic Viagra, like other PDE5 inhibitors, can cause a drop in blood pressure. If you take medications for blood pressure control or tend to have low blood pressure, ask your doctor if it’s safe to use sildenafil.

Sildenafil doesn’t trigger an erection on its own, nor does it increase sexual desire. Sexual stimulation is still required. However, for most healthy people, sildenafil can make an erection easier to get.

A 4-year study trusted Source published in 2007 found that sildenafil is generally safe to use over the long term. Other data trusted Sources pulled from clinical trials in 2016 noted that sildenafil is effective without severe side effects regardless of age.

How generic Viagra is used

Generic Viagra (sildenafil) is available as a 25-milligram (mg), 50-mg, and 100-mg tablet. The 50-mg dose is standard, though your doctor may start you on a 25-mg dose to see if that is sufficient.

Generic Revatio (sildenafil) is available as a 20-mg tablet.

For ED, take sildenafil on an as-needed basis, ideally 1 hour before intercourse. However, it may be effective as soon as 30 minutes before intercourse and may still be effective 3 or 4 hours later.

After 4 hours, the effects of sildenafil tend to wear off.
Sildenafil prescribed for PH is available as a 5-mg and 20-mg pill and in liquid form.

Avoiding fake Viagra

Viagra and other ED medications are some of the most counterfeited drugs out there. It’s important to speak with a doctor to seek treatment and obtain medications through a pharmacy.

Sildenafil is available at most retail pharmacy locations and several reputable online retailers, so there’s no need to buy sildenafil from companies not regulated by the FDA.

Does generic viagra have side effects?

Sildenafil may cause side effects, most of which are minor and temporary. Some of the most common are:

  • headaches
  • flushing, or a feeling of warmth under the skin
  • heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • insomnia
  • tingling in the limbs
  • muscle aches
  • sensitivity to light
  • Serious side effects of sildenafil

More serious side effects should prompt an immediate call to your doctor or 911. They include:

  • blurry vision or sudden and severe loss of vision
  • diminished hearing
  • ringing in ears
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fainting
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • itching or burning during urination
  • rash
  • erection that is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours (priapism)

Interactions to know about

Like any medication, sildenafil can have some potentially serious interactions with other drugs.

Combining with certain blood pressure and heart medications can cause changes in blood pressure

In particular, don’t take sildenafil if you take nitrate medicines for angina or high blood pressure.

If you take other medications for high blood pressure, you may be at risk of experiencing a dangerous drop in blood pressure. These include:

  • diuretics
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • calcium channel blockers

A drop in blood pressure can result in:

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • fainting or falling

Severe blood pressure drops can also result in less oxygen moving through your organs.

Don’t take with other ED medications

Avoid taking sildenafil with any other ED medications. The combination can lower blood pressure, causing fainting, dizziness, and in some rare cases, heart attack.

Combining with alcohol can affect blood pressure

Alcohol and sildenafil can combine to lower blood pressure too much. Avoid alcohol if you’re taking sildenafil.

Grapefruit can delay sildenafil’s effect and increase the chance of side effects

The only real food interaction that can occur with generic Viagra is with grapefruit and grapefruit juice. These products can raise the levels of sildenafil in your body, but can also delay the time the drug takes effect.

CP450 drugs increase the chance of side effects and change the effectiveness of sildenafil

Similar to grapefruit, medications are known as cytochrome P450 (CP450) inhibitors, and substrates can delay how long it takes sildenafil to work and can increase your chance of side effects. CP450 inducers, such as modafinil, reduce the effects of sildenafil if taken at the same time.

CP450 medications include:

  • cimetidine
  • clopidogrel
  • chloramphenicol
  • fluvoxamine
  • omeprazole
  • modafinil

Where to get generic Viagra

While some of what’s sold as generic Viagra online is fake, several reputable companies do sell sildenafil online. Each of the companies below has been vetted by our team for medical and business standards.

Roman

Roman is a telehealth company that focuses on treatment for ED, including generic Viagra. With Roman, you can make online and in-person doctor’s visits and get your prescription filled and refilled.

Roman offers the following ED treatments:

  • generic Viagara (sildenafil)
  • brand name Viagra
  • generic Cialis (tadalafil)

 

His

To purchase medication from telehealth company Hims, you’ll need to fill out a health questionnaire, which is then reviewed by an on-staff doctor.

The company offers the following ED treatments:

  • generic Viagra (sildenafil)
  • brand name Viagra
  • brand name Cialis
  • generic Cialis (tadalafil)
  • Stendra (avanafil)

 

Lemonaid

Lemonaid is a telehealth company that offers a wide range of services. You can see a doctor online without having to book time off to go to an in-person appointment.

The downside, though, is that they don’t take insurance — even for non-ED drugs.

Doctors can prescribe the following ED treatments:

  • generic Viagra (sildenafil)
  • brand name Viagra
  • Stendra (avanafil)
  • brand name Cialis
  • generic Cialis (tadalafil)
  • Levitra (vardenafil)

 

Other treatment options

There are several different treatments for ED. In addition to medications or other medical interventions, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can affect the success of your ED treatment.

Sildenafil is just one of several ED medications on the market.

 

Other oral medications

The four major PDE5 inhibitors are:

  • sildenafil (Viagra)
  • tadalafil (Cialis)
  • vardenafil (Levitra)
  • avanafil (Stendra)

All of those medications, except avanafil (Stendra), are available as generic medications.

 

Penis pump

There are some nonpharmacological treatments for ED, including a vacuum erection device, also known as an erectile dysfunction pump.

It works by placing a seal around the end of the penis and attracting blood to the arteries in the penis by air suction.

Surgery and injections

Penile implants and penile injections to treat ED are other options to consider. Talk with a urologist to learn more about treatments you may want to try.

 

Frequently asked questions about generic Viagra

What is generic Viagra?

Generic Viagra, or sildenafil, is the non-brand name version of the popular ED drug. It’s virtually identical to the brand-name drug, except it may be a different color (instead of blue, like Viagra) and costs a lot less.

How much does generic Viagra cost?

Generic Viagra usually costs anywhere from under $1 to $10 for each tablet.

The takeaway

Generic Viagra, or sildenafil citrate, works the same as Viagra, but at a lower cost.

While Pfizer still manufactures the “little blue pill,” other companies, globally and in the United States, make sildenafil. It may look different, but it’s still an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction.

 

7 Alternatives to Viagra

Treating erectile dysfunction

If you are thinking about erectile dysfunction (ED), you are probably thinking about Viagra. That’s because Viagra was the first oral pill to treat ED. Approved by a Trusted Source by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998.

Viagra can be very effective in treating ED, but it is not good for everyone. Continue reading to learn about other ED drugs, as well as other treatments for ED.

Other medications for erectile dysfunction (ED)

Although Viagra is considered to be the most common ED drug, it is very rare in the market. They all work by improving the blood flow to the penis so you can get and keep standing long enough to have sex.

Because of the unique chemical composition of each drug, you may react differently to each of them. It may take a little trial and error to decide which one works best for you.

Taking oral medication is usually not enough to give an erection.

Other prescription drugs used to treat ED include:

Tadalafil (Cialis)

Cialis is an oral tablet that starts working about half an hour after taking it. It can improve erectile function by up to 36 hours. The initial dose is 10 milligrams (mg) but can be increased or decreased as needed. You take it as needed, but do not take it more than once a day. Cialis can be taken with or without food.

There is also a daily version. These 2.5-mg tablets should be taken at the same time every day.

Vardenafil (Levitra)

You should take Levitra about an hour before sexual activity. The initial dose is usually 10 mg. You should not take it more than once a day. These oral contraceptives can be taken with or without food.

Vardenafil (Staxyn)

Staxyn is different from other ED drugs in that you do not swallow it. The tablet is inserted into your tongue and allowed to melt. You should do this about an hour before having sex.

You must not crush or disassemble the tablet. It can be taken with or without food, but not with liquid. Tablets contain 10 mg of the drug that should not be taken more than once a day.

Avanafil (Stendra)

Stendra comes in 50, 100, and 200-mg tablets. You take it about 15 to 30 minutes before having sex but never pass it once a day.

Risk factors and side effects

Before taking any ED medication, tell your doctor about any pre-existing health conditions you may have. You should also discuss any other drugs or supplements you are currently taking. Some ED medications can interact with other medications and cause more serious side effects.

You should not take ED medication if:

  • take nitrate, which is usually given for chest pain (angina)
  • low blood pressure (hypotension)

Additionally, your doctor may prescribe medication for ED if you:

  • take other medications that may interact with ED medications
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • have liver disease
  • they are on dialysis for kidney disease

The most common side effects of ED drugs are temporary. They include:

  • a headache
  • indigestion or nausea
  • back pain
  • muscle pain
  • blowing air
  • thick or runny nose

Although common, some ED drugs can cause chronic pain that will not go away. If ejaculation lasts a long time, it can damage your penis. If your urination lasts more than four hours, you should seek medical help immediately.

Other unusual symptoms of ED medications are changes in hearing and vision, including color vision.

Natural remedies for erectile dysfunction (ED)

If you are taking medication for other health conditions, you may not be able to take oral medication for ED. While there are a few natural remedies that may work to alleviate your symptoms, further research is needed to determine their effectiveness. Many brands claim to cure ED, but there is not always enough research to support those claims.

Whatever other options you have, it is best to discuss them with your doctor before using them. They can help you determine if this is the best option for you.

L-arginine

L-arginine is an amino acid. Another 1999 study A reliable source found that oral L-arginine was no better than placebo in treating ED, but other studies A reliable source found some evidence that high doses of L-arginine could improve blood flow and aid ED. Possible side effects of use include nausea, cramps, and diarrhea. You should not take this if you are taking Viagra.

Red ginseng

Red ginseng is an herbal supplement. System review 2008 A reliable source for seven studies found that red ginseng may be effective in treating ED.

If you plan to try ginseng, you should talk to your doctor about dosing. Side effects may include headaches, sleep problems, and intestinal problems.

Tell your doctor if you are taking other medications as they may interact with the supplement and lead to more serious side effects.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine used in various forms.

A 2016 system review failed to prove that acupuncture alone was effective in treating ED. The authors noted the small sample size and poor quality of the subjects involved.

If you are considering acupuncture, consult a qualified doctor.

What you can do now

ED may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, so consult your doctor. You should also mention any other symptoms you may be experiencing. Treating the underlying condition may resolve the problem.

Other tips to keep in mind while treating ED:

  • Always take ED medications exactly as directed. Talk to your doctor before increasing the dose, and report any troubling side effects.
  • Don’t mix treatments. Taking an oral medication while using a natural remedy may cause harmful side effects.
  • Natural doesn’t always mean safe. Herbal or other dietary supplements can interact with medications. When considering something new, consult with your doctor or pharmacist, and be sure to report side effects.

Aside from drugs and herbal remedies, certain lifestyle factors can contribute to ED. Whatever treatment you choose, it may help if you also:

  • Avoid or limit alcohol use.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get sufficient sleep every night.
  • Engage in regular exercise, including aerobic exercise.
  • Try pelvic floor exercises. A small 2005 study trusted Source concluded that pelvic floor exercises
  • should be a first-line approach in treating ED.

Other methods to treat ED include blood vessel surgery, vacuum pumps, and penile implants. If the problem persists, talk to your doctor about these and other alternatives.

Appy Don

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